January New Year Pantry Challenge - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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I'm in.

DH is currently unemployed (and a very good cook
If we end up moving we'll be glad we slimmed down the pantry.
We also inherited a few random items from DH's grandmother's pantry (she just went to a nursing home )

Yesterday I made hummus from pantry dried beans, homemade yogurt, and a soup with homemade shrimp stock so I did pretty good. Today DH will do the cooking so I'll see what I get when I get home

I have a bunch of sunflower seed. Has anyone tried sprouting them? A favorite vendor at the farmer's market raises and sells them and they are yummy, but I'm not sure how involved of a process it is.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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Dang.

Have some very unexpected meat coming our way.

So, I'm at work this morning (I nanny), and we're in the lower level playroom, I glance outside to the backyard and see, at the base of the climbing wall of the swing set.....

A deer. With an arrow through it. Presumably dead. So, I call my employer, who did NOT know about it, skip a few calls ahead, and the game warden says, "Well, give someone an hour or so to see if they track it down, otherwise, the deer's on your property, it's yours."

Not to get into gory details, but, the deer was fresh. We had snow last night and all day and we could see the blood trail that was NOT covered by the snow....

So, my boss says, "Well, I guess we'll get it processed, and you're more than welcome to some of it, because we don't eat that much venison."

So, we're getting some venison....I don't know how much...I remember from when my Grandpa hunted the average deer yields around 50 lbs, so, we'll see. At least I know the poor deer didn't die for nothing....
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:09 AM
 
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Havent been to the grocery store yet...
Had more lasagana and rolls...
Really hate pop-tarts

Planning a trip to get produce and dairy this weekend.

Used up a jar of peanut butter in a cake. This thing is delicious.... Take a boxed cake mix, add 1/3 c water and one egg and one cup PB, mix and bake as directed. Take one tub of frosting (white or chocolate) add 1/2-1 C PB (per your liking) mix and frost cake...
**find lost M&M's in panty and top cake with them.... kids and DH think you are 'da bomb'**
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have all those ingredients in that peanut butter cake, but with all this snow on the ground and coming, I am afraid of cabin fever w the sugar high! But it sounds yummy!

Tonight sausage pizza and today making soup day!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Used up a jar of peanut butter in a cake. This thing is delicious.... Take a boxed cake mix, add 1/3 c water and one egg and one cup PB, mix and bake as directed. Take one tub of frosting (white or chocolate) add 1/2-1 C PB (per your liking) mix and frost cake...
**find lost M&M's in panty and top cake with them.... kids and DH think you are 'da bomb'**
Mmmmm....peanut butter cake....What time did you say it would be ready? :

I swear, the leftovers will be gone tonight! Whoo-hoo! I did have to bust into a cheese I was saving for next week...I noticed a side was going moldy, so, I cut that off, and we've been eating it for snack/lunches. But, I need to go get dairy this week anyway, so, I'll pick up the cheese then.

Made whole wheat blackberry buttermilk pancakes this morning. DD and I picked the blackberries and mulberries around the complex last summer, and IQF'd them. It feels like it's time to have a little bit of sunshine in our food around here.

Tomorrow, I am making chicken soup with the stock I made. It will use up the carrots, some of the potatoes, and whatever bits and odds I find (some frozen veggies for sure). With rolls I will make today.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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I am planning on making an apple pie this weekend. This fall I canned up several quarts of apple pie filling, and have yet to use them (except the one that didn't seal).

Otherwise, we continue to work on leftovers!

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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Tonight's dinner is spaghetti (sauce and meat from the freezer), bread (leftover from paninis) and salad with the veggies I have left.

I have some broccoli too that I'll turn into soup this weekend.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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hey everyone. yesterday was the day from hell. we got some tragic news that the father of one of the students at my kid's school (a very small, close knit private school) was shot and killed. so pretty much everything got put on hold to deal with that.

as for dinner, we had frozen pizza and salad as there wasn't a lot of time to cook.

i went to the grocery this morning (i shop every friday morning) and got only fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, yogurt, milk, o.j., eggs, stew beef, popcorn, and granola bars. just stuff we really needed for dinners/lunch boxes, etc.

tonight we are having dinner at my mom's house so i have no idea what we're having, but i don't have to cook it so i'm happy.

tomorrow morning we have a funeral to go to (kids are staying with grandma) and dh and i will most likely grab dinner out.

sunday is our small group bible study and we are hosting it this week, so i'm making beef stew (hence the stew meat i needed). and everyone else will bring a dish....salad, veggies/dip, dessert, etc.

: : vicki ~ wife & mom of 2 amazing kids
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hugs vm9979 its hard when another family in your community has this happen.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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I'm actually having fun being creative with what we have to use up! I've needed some inspiration in the kitchen so :. And who knew burritos could be good without cheese!
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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hugs vm9979 its hard when another family in your community has this happen.
thank you. it IS hard because of the children involved. the family has 4 kids, the youngest (that is in school with my kids) is in 7th grade and is a friend of my dd (who's in 6th grade). then they have 2 in the private high school here and 1 that's a freshman in college. it's been very hard as it's a publicized shooting, so these kids have to deal not only with the devastating loss of their father, but also the media attention that's now been brought into their lives because of it.....news coverage all day long, newspaper articles, etc. and on top of everything, their dad was a heart transplant recipient just last year. so they almost lost him once and now this. it's just too much for one family to go through in only 6 months. my daughter is soooo worried about their daughter (her friend). they pulled the 6th-8th grade classes out of class yesterday for a prayer session and to explain what was going on (it's a parochial school) and the kids shared many tears with each other. it's been a difficult time trying to answer questions from my kids that i don't have any answers for. it breaks my heart.

: : vicki ~ wife & mom of 2 amazing kids
live well ~ laugh often ~ love much
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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vm9799 - so sorry to hear about the father who was shot. That's tragic. Sounds like you're doing your best to keep up with the pantry challenge in the midst of upheaval!!

As for me, I've cooked every day this week, and my main goal is to NOT eat out. That's meant having to pick up some groceries here and there because I don't have tons of anything in my pantry except for diced tomatoes and mac-n-cheese!!

Costco had a coupon for their take and back pizzas. That's our dinner tonight with some salad. We're doing movie night. So I'll also make popcorn and I think we'll bake cookies, too. I have all the baking ingredients on hand! Last night we had potato leek soup. I had the milk, powdered potato mix (to help thicken it since I didn't have cream), and chicken stock already in the pantry. I did buy leeks and potatoes this week. I'll use the potatoes in something else, too. Maybe a breakfast casserole? I have lots of turkey sausage links and eggs. So, I'm thinking about fixing up a bfast casserole this weekend.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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vm9799 - so sorry to hear of that tragedy. s:
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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Went shopping today, since I was in the coop/trader Joe's end of town.

Interestingly, raw milk (for me and DD to drink) is only 28c more per gallon than the organic whole milk (for cooking and DH to drink). Raw milk went down, organic whole milk went up. And, the raw milk comes in half gallons - it's actually CHEAPER than the half gallon of organic whole milk.

Of course, they're not at the same store, so, I didn't realize that until after I'd already bought the org. whole milk. But, heck, from now on, I'll just buy all raw milk (or, almost...DH swears he doesn't like the taste, so, I'll still have to buy some past. org. milk every once in a while) - it'll support the local farmer a bit, and I'm more than willing to pay the extra 28c/gallon to do that.

Anyway, in addition to a lot of milk, I got a bunch of cheese (I'm addicted), some meats, a few veggies we needed, and some staples for the pantry. Popped a loaf of bread into the machine before I left this afternoon, and just had a late lunch of fresh, warm bread, raw cheese, and raw milk. :
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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I need help stockpiling moms!

I froze a few bags of green beans at the end of summer. Just thawed some out to eat with dinner. The texture is fine, still a bit crispy, but the smell!!!!! Oh my goodness, they reek!

So, the beans are not rotten, not slimy, they are bright green and look fine, but they have a very strange smell...very vegetal if that makes sense. I ran them under some warm water and had a few bites --- blech! They are inedible.

Okay, so I am going to toss these, but what did I do wrong? I used freezer grade Ziplocs, so I don't think it is a freezer burn issue. They don't look damaged at all.

The only thing I can think of -- I froze them without cooking them. Should I have blanched them? Any ideas?

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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Old 01-10-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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I need help stockpiling moms!

I froze a few bags of green beans at the end of summer. Just thawed some out to eat with dinner. The texture is fine, still a bit crispy, but the smell!!!!! Oh my goodness, they reek!

So, the beans are not rotten, not slimy, they are bright green and look fine, but they have a very strange smell...very vegetal if that makes sense. I ran them under some warm water and had a few bites --- blech! They are inedible.

Okay, so I am going to toss these, but what did I do wrong? I used freezer grade Ziplocs, so I don't think it is a freezer burn issue. They don't look damaged at all.

The only thing I can think of -- I froze them without cooking them. Should I have blanched them? Any ideas?

I don't know if it's necessary, but, I've always blanched my greenbeans. I pulled a couple bags out for Christmas party food last week, and they cooked up great...
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I don't know if it's necessary, but, I've always blanched my greenbeans. I pulled a couple bags out for Christmas party food last week, and they cooked up great...
I can't say this conclusively, but I think you have to blanch *any* veg that you are going to freeze. I don't freeze, I can, so I'm not 100% sure. I don't think it would ever hurt it, though.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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Okay, so I mentioned before that we are getting our side of beef in about a month. I updated my inventory in the meat freezer and rearranged, so I have about 5 cubic feet right now freed up. I need to free up about 1 more cubic foot. I have 38lbs. of very lean ground beef from a steer butchered over the summer and I have 16lbs. of sausage. I also have lamb, fish, a couple of roasts still from the butchering a year ago (plus one that will be for supper tonight), 4 whole organic chickens (plus one that will be Sunday dinner) and 26 chicken breasts.

Working with these meats, I need some yummy ideas for getting rid of about 10 - 15 lbs. of meat over the next month. This feels like a chore and I am totally uninspired even though I love to cook. Any ideas? Last gasp effort will be to can the chicken and beef, but I already have dozens of pints and don't really need to add because we rotate those less often.

I have absolutely no room at all in my other two freezers, so I can't move this stuff around. Help!!
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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So I have been googling and have learned loads about freezing veggies. I royally messed up by not blanching the beans. Natural enzymes need to be killed before freezing or they continue to so something to the food while it is frozen. Not sure what they do exactly, but the effect of their activity was stinky.

I found a site in case anyone is interested in blanching times for various veggies.

http://missourifamilies.org/features...yfeature12.htm

I guess I learned my lesson the hard way.

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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Velochic, your post is cracking my up. I have all these recipes for stretching meat -- coating chicken breast pieces in leftover breadcrumbs for tenders, adding it to chili (love white chili!), pounding it thin and grilling for burritos, adding it to enchiladas with beans.

What to do with extra meat? Savor it, enjoy it, have a party and invite friends to eat it.

I did have make some chicken the other day that I really loved -- Saute thin breasts in a bit of coconut oil, add shallots and saute for a bit. Add a few tablespoons of peach jam and chicken stock and simmer till done. Warm and sweet and tangy. I loved this.

I love a recipe on epicurious dot com called 'Chicken with Shallots, Prunes, and Armagnac'. I make this when I am flush with cash and need an 'impress the inlaws' kind of meal. I am not a fan of armagnac, but I love calvados. Even applejack works just fine and won't cost an arm and a leg.

I don't eat a lot of red meat, so am not much help there. I usually just salt it well and toss on the grill.

Enjoy your meat month!

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so I mentioned before that we are getting our side of beef in about a month. I updated my inventory in the meat freezer and rearranged, so I have about 5 cubic feet right now freed up. I need to free up about 1 more cubic foot. I have 38lbs. of very lean ground beef from a steer butchered over the summer and I have 16lbs. of sausage. I also have lamb, fish, a couple of roasts still from the butchering a year ago (plus one that will be for supper tonight), 4 whole organic chickens (plus one that will be Sunday dinner) and 26 chicken breasts.

Working with these meats, I need some yummy ideas for getting rid of about 10 - 15 lbs. of meat over the next month. This feels like a chore and I am totally uninspired even though I love to cook. Any ideas? Last gasp effort will be to can the chicken and beef, but I already have dozens of pints and don't really need to add because we rotate those less often.

I have absolutely no room at all in my other two freezers, so I can't move this stuff around. Help!!
DH gave me some ideas after I read your post. I can share any of my recipes. He also asked if you are in IL and if we could bring the truck over and take some of this off your hands LOL! He even said we would cook it all and bring half back for you.
His ideas:
Chicken parmasion
beef stew
chicken n dumplings
beef taco meat
roast beef sandwhiches.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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I have 38lbs. of very lean ground beef from a steer butchered over the summer and I have 16lbs. of sausage. I also have lamb, fish, a couple of roasts still from the butchering a year ago (plus one that will be for supper tonight), 4 whole organic chickens (plus one that will be Sunday dinner) and 26 chicken breasts.
Chili - you could always can the extras
Lasagna
Pizzas/Calzones
Moussaka
Zuppa Toscana
Pasta Fazool
Jambalaya
Apricot-Mustard Chicken
Chicken Tagine
Roast Chicken w/Sausage Stuffing


I just made a really delicious stoup this evening using this recipe. I used only 2 cans of beans, no peppers, but ended up using a quart of chicken stock and subbed butter for the margarine.

We'll be having the leftovers tomorrow.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:38 AM
 
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We are still plugging away with the challenge. Made some soup last night, which used up a lot of odds and ends and am making stuffing now. Tonight, we'll have baked chicken and whatever leftover veggies we have as sides. I also have some frozen blueberries that I'd like to use up, so I'm thinking of trying a vegan lemon-blueberry muffin recipe that I found awhile back.

We did go to our local grocery store yesterday-since we're doing the challenge, we really only needed produce and dairy, but while we were there organic granola was at a rock-bottom price so we stocked up. DH loves this stuff for breakfast, so he has enough to last into the spring at 1/4 the price I'd normally pay.

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Old 01-11-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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DH was just laid off, and we can pay our bills and make it work as long as we spend only minimally on groceries. So I'm here for the pantry challenge.

I am taking a break from inventorying my pantry - my garage is about 20F right now and my fingers are chilly!

I would say we have a well-stocked pantry in all areas, but this will be a true test of how accurate that assessment is and how far it will take us.

I feel like with DH's layoff, it's like the music just stopped, and wherever I am is where I am. I'm excited to finally put my preparations to the test. Trying to think as positive as I can.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. Some very yummy ideas! I've written them all down and we'll decide today what we'll do this week. Dh (who is diabetic) will be gone, so we can have all the pasta we want this week!
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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DH was just laid off, and we can pay our bills and make it work as long as we spend only minimally on groceries. So I'm here for the pantry challenge.

I am taking a break from inventorying my pantry - my garage is about 20F right now and my fingers are chilly!

I would say we have a well-stocked pantry in all areas, but this will be a true test of how accurate that assessment is and how far it will take us.

I feel like with DH's layoff, it's like the music just stopped, and wherever I am is where I am. I'm excited to finally put my preparations to the test. Trying to think as positive as I can.
This is what it is all about! You are going to be fine. I know you've done a great job prepping. Let us know how you are doing.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the job loss. Is he in an industry that will allow him to find a job quickly? Sending good vibes his way. :
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Tonight's dinner is hamsteak from the freezer, potatoes we picked last fall and whatever veggies are in the freezer, probably my green beans I froze last summer.

I'm also making broccoli cheese soup, banana nut muffins (from what I have in the house) and some bread today. The next week's menu is mostly from what I have on hand, I did pick up a few things though.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Yesterday for lunch we had all the leftovers from the week. It was nice to use everything up and not have to throw it away later. For dinner we had homemade pizza. We will have those leftovers for lunch today. For dinner tonight we will have spaghetti, I'll make some rolls as well. I have some blueberries in the freezer I should use up so I'll probably make blueberry muffins and dh can take them in his lunch this week.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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This is what it is all about! You are going to be fine. I know you've done a great job prepping. Let us know how you are doing.

P.S. Sorry to hear about the job loss. Is he in an industry that will allow him to find a job quickly? Sending good vibes his way. :
Thanks, velochic - your well wishes mean a lot to me. I'm having a hard time feeling good about this. Or...maybe it's because I'm down to my last few servings of cocoa (which I will not be replacing) and I'm rationing the last two gallons of maple syrup (we don't use sugar). LOL. So maybe there's some stimulant withdrawal going on here, too!!

I have no idea what DH's job outlook will be. He is a developer/programmer right now for an online game company. He also has significant experience with database architecture. I am afraid the market is probably glutted with people with similar experience. On the other hand, he is smart and resourceful and has always managed to find a job when he needed one, even when the market was tough, so I'm hoping.

I'd like to start a discussion here about eating exclusively (or 99%) from pantry for an extended period in tough times.

Has anyone here eaten only out of a well-stocked pantry for a number of months in a row? We'd like to keep our grocery bill as close to zero as possible for as long as we can.

I know it will vary based on what is in one's pantry... I think I could use some ideas for how best to ration what is there. We eat pretty frugally and we eat pantry foods most of the time anyway, but it's going to be hard not replacing something when we run out.

I wonder if I can get through 2-3 months buying nothing but eggs? I bet I can. I think that is a good goal for me. After that, I will need to replenish some things, but probably not much.

How do I know when my kids are really hungry and need more food, vs.when they're just wanting more because they're used to eating more? I am sure we are used to eating more meat at a sitting than we need to.

I would love some BTDT ideas and encouragement.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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I inventoried my freezer yesterday and here is what's in there right now:

1 1/2 bags chocolate chips
Half bag blueberries
1 loaf GF bread (will probably thaw and make crockpot stuffing this week)
3 cups snow (no, really! my 7- year old saved it from the one time this winter it snowed/iced here)
3 1/2 boxes veggie sausage
about 19 cups black-eyed peas--holy crap, had no idea there were so many!
1 gallon black beans
About 19 cups pinto beans--again, whoa!
about 2 cups navy beans
2 bags strawberries (will use a couple cups this afternoon for a smoothie)
1 cup pizza sauce
half loaf gluten bread
2 packs GF tortillas
1 almost-all-there package of Vegan mozzarella
1 lb. corn
1 lb. peas+ 1/2 pack
2 lunch-size containers of black eyed peas
1 pack cranberries
about 2 cups GF breadcrumbs
homemade vanilla frosting
1 pack GF hotdog buns
lunch-size container of black bean+corn soup
1 lunch-size container lentil soup
1 lunch-size container dahl+rice
about 2 cups lady creamer beans
1 bag edamame
1 bag pineapple chunks
dozen falafel patties (still cooling, will add later)
8 apple pie muffins (also still cooling)

Now I need to actually use some of that stuff, especially the black eyed peas and pinto beans. I think it's time for soup!

As for the pantry, I've been slowly using up the bits and pieces I've found in there. Also, I got rid of 21 cookbooks, that has cleared up some space in the pantry! Still have 30something, but that's more manageable.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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